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Morning commute from Central LA to Thousand Oaks

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London, England
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Morning commute from Central LA to Thousand Oaks

Hi,

We will be in LA next Easter, we will start off in Anaheim and then I think move to a couple of days near The Grove so that we can walk/take the bus to things we want to see. On one of these days I have to get to my office in Thousand Oaks for the day. Whenever we have done this before I have stayed near there and got a taxi, I am loathe to do that this time as the rest of the family will have nothing to do for that day apart from sit around the hotel ( they wont have a car).

So the question is how long will a cab take from The Grove to Thousand Oaks and ( gulp) how much will it cost on a Monday morning in rush hour. i have looked at the bus system and it doesnt seem that simple to do by public transport as the buses seem to be mainly and obvs going the other way into LA.

We wont have a car for this portion of the trip and theres no way I can be persuaded as the thought of driving in LA is terrifying.

We did toy with the idea of staying in Santa Monica instead but the hotels were too expensive.

Santa Monica...
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1. Re: Morning commute from Central LA to Thousand Oaks

I would guess the cab is over $100 and will take about 70-90minutes. Someone may have a better solution, like a shuttle.

London, England
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2. Re: Morning commute from Central LA to Thousand Oaks

Thanks yogachic. Thats what I thought. Would it be any better staying somewhere a little bit further over like the Palomar? I would lose the ability to wander over to the shops and cinema but gain an easy route to Santa Monica and slightly easier to the office?

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3. Re: Morning commute from Central LA to Thousand Oaks

Your problem is not the Grove vs Westwood, your problem is you are going to Thousand Oaks.

A cab from the Grove will be over $130 each way. A cab from the Palomar would be over $115 each way.

Rent a car. There is nothing difficult about driving in LA. LA is a much, much easier place to drive than London.

London, England
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4. Re: Morning commute from Central LA to Thousand Oaks

I know but I dont drive in Central London either. I have only been driving for a year. I am perfectly happy doing the school run here and have been on a few longer journeys but I dont think there is any way I am going to be able to face a 7 lane highway. i watched my partner of the time do it last time and he had been driving since he was 17 and he found it hard too.

Lots of people from my office go and dont hire a car but they normally stay near the office for their office day iyswim.

Edited: 10:58 am, July 13, 2013
West Hollywood...
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5. Re: Morning commute from Central LA to Thousand Oaks

If you stay near the Grove, there is no reason why your family will have to sit in the hotel room whilst you're in Thousand Oaks. There are lots of things to see and do near the Grove including the museums just south of the Grove (LACMA, Page Museum/La Brea Tar Pits, or my favorite: the Petersen Automotive Museum). These are a simple walk south along Fairfax Av (next to the Grove) or they can hop on any southbound bus along Fairfax (a 2 minute ride).

Or, they can head west from the Grove (along 3rd St) and into Beverly Hills (12 minutes) and walk around Rodeo Drive and neighboring Streets). Or, they can head north on Fairfax into Hollywood (20-25 minutes) and explore the Walk of Fame, Chinese Theater, Dolby Theater, take a 1-1/2 hour walking tour of Hollywood via redlinetours.com, take a longer tour from starline tours -- whose ticket booth is in the courtyard of the Chinese Theater -- see their website listed below), etc, etc

www.starlinetours.com/los-angeles-tours.asp

As far as going to Thousand Oaks is concerned, here's a map of the route from the grove:

http://mapq.st/14Q3c3t

As you can see, it's a drive/taxi ride of just under an hour and a distance of about 40 miles. At current taxi rates, the tax would cost:

$2.85 for the first 1/9th of a mile + $2.70 x the remaining miles + 50-cents for each minute of 'waiting time' (when the taxi is stuck in traffic or stopped at a red light) =

$2.85 + $2.70 x 40 + 6 x 50-cent (estimated) = $113.85 + 15% tip = about $131 EACH WAY.

That would be a very expensive commute!

Hiring a car would cost you around $25 for the car plus $10 for petrol (I assume you won't have to pay for parking at your office) = $35 TOTAL. I understand your fears about driving but as our former president Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) said: "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself". In other words, stop worrying.

Driving in L.A. is nothing like driving in central London where the streets are narrow, and curvy and there are these insane roundabouts (we have none of those!). Our streets are wide, straight and well-marked and we have lots of traffic signals.

The route, as you can see on the map, consists, largely, of getting onto the 101 freeway, holding the steering wheel steady and pressing the accelerator. When you reach Thousand Oaks, get off the 101. There will be little or no traffic since the traffic will be headed in the other direction.

Using public transit as an alternative will take 2 hours in each direction. What a waste of time!

Los Angeles...
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6. Re: Morning commute from Central LA to Thousand Oaks

I take the 101 west during rush hour every morning and there is traffic. It's not as bad as heading east, but it can be slow. It's a lot worse during the school year. If the OP is here during Easter school break, it can make a big difference. Once you pass the 405, traffic lightens up considerably. It is an easy drive - freeway all the way.

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7. Re: Morning commute from Central LA to Thousand Oaks

I think the answer here is that we don't have an answer for you. Stay near the Grove as you'd planned, as that will be a convenient location for sightseeing and for the family on your work day. Perhaps you can throw yourself on the mercy of your office in Thousand Oaks...maybe they will:

1) absorb the cost of a cab

2) send a driver for you

3) have an employee who lives in LA who can pick you up or meet you at a more accessible location, or who knows someone willing to pick you up and drive you for the day at a lower cost than a cab.

If not...bite the bullet and take a cab.

Good luck! I agree with you; as a new and uncertain driver, it would be unwise to drive in this situation.

Edited: 3:59 pm, July 13, 2013
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8. Re: Morning commute from Central LA to Thousand Oaks

Oh dear. I really dislike the minimizing of the difficulties of driving for the first time in Los Angeles. It's not just "holding on to the steering wheel" and I understand the OP's trepidation. It's true that she *can* do it, I'm sure, but her anxiety level needs to be calculated in. If a person is comfortable with that (I would get a rental car and pay for the insurance that covers all fender benders). If a minor thing happens, it's not necessary to call the police - just to exchange insurance/driver information.

It's tough, because the Grove is a great place to leave your family for the day. No, Palomar would be no advantage. The only place that would be an advantage would be to get closer to T.O. and its various commuter routes.

The Grove is sort of near the 101 (surface streets intervene, it's not like it's right next to an onramp), and then there are some interchanges to get through. It's entirely doable, but to be truthful, when my anxious relatives arrive, I spend some time with them in their own car behind me and I drive the roads with them (my sister lives in SD and absolutely hates/won't drive through L.A., despite this method - after one run-through which included the Grove and part of Beverly Hills, she was done, so I understand - she takes the train and bus everywhere outside her immediate commute, which is less than 15 minutes).

I would agree, pretty much, that L.A. is much easier to drive than London, but if OP doesn't drive in London and is a new driver, L.A. is not necessarily an easy commute. Perhaps she can psyche herself up into renting a car (really, you *can* do it - just don't worry about what other drivers are doing or how fast they're going or if they honk at you).

As to public transport vs. driving, well, 2 hours is a long time on public transport, but it's only 1 hour or so more than driving (in morning commute traffic). The drive could be as long as 1:15 or even longer if there's an accident or other problem. Picking up the rental car has to be factored in too - I've only once been able to accomplish getting a rental car in less than half an hour - and it takes an equal amount of time (at least) to drop it off - and while the rental agencies are probably within walking distance of the Grove, that time needs to be factored in. Avis was the agency that managed to get me out the door in 10 minutes once I got there, it was like a miracle. And this wasn't in central L.A., it was in a rather easy-going 'burb.

I work with people who commute - daily - for two hours and one of them is coming up on her 25th anniversary of doing so. True, we're teachers, so it's only 10 months out of the year, but still. My daily commute is 25-35 minutes each way, and my husband's is 1:20 each way (on good days; on very good days it's 1:10 and on bad days it's X). My daughter commutes 60 minutes each way, every day. Since it's our employment, we don't exactly consider this a "waste of time." Sounds like you're in a similar boat. We spent 3 hours getting to Oxford (bus was late) and 2 hours getting back, in one day - and we didn't mind at all, better than renting a car in England. (If you can't tell, I really dislike car rentals for several reasons - but will do it under familiar circumstances).

Unfortunately, metrolink (train) doesn't stop in T.O. You'd have to go to Moorpark and take the bus (fairly frequent to T.O. - about 32 minutes from Moorpark to the furthest part of T.O.) Then you'd have to walk to where ever you are going or take a T.O. city bus or taxi (about which I know nothing).

Which brings us back to "where to stay." If you are indeed going to use public transport, have a look at this route map:

http://www.metrolinktrains.com/routes/

It's the yellow route that would take you to Moorpark. Staying in Santa Monica will not solve your problem as you would still have to go over to central L.A. to transfer to that yellow route (and same if you used all bus transport, which would make no sense - you either want metrolink or the commuter express). The reason I'm suggesting metrolink is that I think you have one further difficulty: you are going in the opposite direction of commuter traffic, so I'm not sure the commuter express system would work for you - be *sure* and post a separate question about it if you decide to try to use it, here's the link:

http://www.ladottransit.com/comexp/

Anyway, I just realized how user unfriendly the metrolink site is, so here are the times for the Ventura County line:

metrolinktrains.com/schedules/…1141.html

Note that not all trains go to Moorpark. It says it's 1 hour 20 minutes from Union Station to Moorpark and you could definitely arrange a cab in Moorpark to go to T.O, (and one from the Grove to Union Station). The ride in the cab from Moorpark to Thousand Oaks would be about 15-20 minutes depending on where in T.O. you are going. I have no idea how long a cab would take from The Grove area to Union Station - but I'm guessing there's a bus that's really easy to use.

The southbound bus (called the VISTA intercity bus in Ventura County) from Moorpark to Thousand Oaks takes 26 minutes to get to the Amgen station (again, don't know where you're going, but there are about four stops in T.O. - including the Oaks and the Industrial Park).

So yes, it would take 2 hours (or a little more), but it is possible to do (I hope your employers are flexible). But, I do think it's possible you could end up taking that much time with pick up/drive/drop off of a rental, as well. Especially during morning commute. Metrolink does not have to contend with traffic and the times are pretty reliable.

Staying near Union Station, obviously, would save you at least 20 minutes on this commute and there are a lot of things for a family to see/do/get to from there, as well. You might want accommodation suggestions, though (a new thread).

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9. Re: Morning commute from Central LA to Thousand Oaks

LeBiscuit has an interesting idea. You could stay downtown and take Metrolink from Union Station to Moorpark, then a cab to TO. The Metrolink fare if $25 round-trip. Your family could explore downtown or take the Metro rapid transit to Hollywood, Pasadena (this would be nice), etc.

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10. Re: Morning commute from Central LA to Thousand Oaks

Wow, thanks for all of these answers.

I have been pushing myself through the fear of driving, going on the M25'( the most hellish motorway here) and driving to Glastonbury Festival in hideously busy traffic. But I have been to the US a lot, we are hiring a car for the Grand Circle part of our trip amd I am not really worried about that beyond the normal anxiety of driving in a foreign country. But LA is different.

I will look into staying near one of the convenient transport hubs as my normal commute into work by public transport is a convoluted 1.5 hours on a good day so I am used to that. I will also ask the office but I will think that they will say to stay closeby for that night. We need to get to LAX the next day to fly to LV so I don't really want to do that.

Thanks again. You've been amazingly helpful with what I know is an odd query.

Edited: 4:25 am, July 14, 2013